Day 1 & 2 : Whitianga – (190 km – 2:30 hrs) – Banana Boat Ride Arrive late morning, pickup your rental vehicle, and start your New Zealand North Island self-drive adventure. First stop is the beachside town of Whitianga on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula. The Beachside Oceans Resort Motel Apartments are perfectly located for you to enjoy the many activities Whitianga offers swimming, diving, bush walking, scenic cruises, soaking in a hot pool at low tide, horse riding, fishing, kayaking, relaxed shopping, and dining on local cuisine. Our optional activities package includes a 20-minute Banana Boat Ride. Great for all but for families it is an adventure to remember. Two nights Whitianga Beachside Resort – Superior Unit.
Day 3 : Tauranga – (168km – 2:30 hrs Harbour Cruise – For those that have opted to include our activities package your comprehensive tour notes provide a list of ten inspiring things to do in Tauranga ranging from blue berry picking (In season) to self-guided walks and a kayak tour through a Glow Worm Canyon. Our included package activity is a cruise around Tauranga featuring untouched white sandy beaches, wildlife, and occasionally marine animals such a fur seals and dolphins. Its not all about the wildlife you also get close-up to large container vessels and visiting cruise ships as you cruise through the busy port of Tauranga. One night: Quest City Central – Executive Studio Room.
Day 4 & 5 : Rotorua – ( 53km – 0:40 hrs) Hells Gate & Tamaki Māori Village: The Rotorua area is a popular tourist destination with several active thermal areas and a rich Māori heritage. Our activities package has an interactive walk-through Hells Gate geothermal reserve and a visit to Tamaki Māori Village where guests participate in learning the haka and poi before enjoying a hāngi feast. Two nights Bella Vista Motel – Superior Studio Unit.
Day 6: Lake Taupo – (80 km – 1:00 hrs) Scenic Cruise to Māori Rock Carvings: It’s a very short trip down the road from Rotorua to Taupo giving plenty of time to see the sights. On the list of the ‘top things to do in Taupō’ is a 90-minute tour on the lake to the Ngātoroirangi Māori Rock Carvings. They even provide a free homemade muffin and coffee. One of the most visited natural attractions in New Zealand is the Huka Falls. Take a cruise in a purpose-built riverboat and enjoy incredible views of this spectacular waterfall in comfort. One night: Bella Vista Motel – Standard Studio Room.
Day 7 : Napier – (140 km – 1:45 hrs) National Aquarium: The journey to Napier is an adventure in itself as you travel across the plains, over the ranges and down into Napier, famous for its Art Deco historic buildings. It is here you will also find the National Aquarium which stretches along Napier’s Marine Parade like a huge stingray. It is home to a wide range of saltwater, freshwater, and land animal exhibits from New Zealand and around the world. The 1.5 million litre Oceanarium showcases the varied aquatic species that exist in the adjacent Hawke Bay, including shark, stingray, and other reef fish. You can journey through the Oceanarium inside the amazing underwater viewing tunnel via a 50m travelator as fish swim and feed, above and around you. One night: Bella Vista Motel – Standard Studio Room.
Day 8: Martinborough – (225 km – 2:45 hrs) Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre – Wine Tasting: We break our trip down to New Zealand’s capital city with a stop at the Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre a restored forest and captive breeding site for endangered wildlife such as brown kiwi, pateke (brown duck) and tuns (longfin eels) before moving on to Martinborough for an overnight stay. At the last count Martinborough had over 40 vineyards open for wine tasting and many with dining options. One night Claremont Motel Executive Studio.
Day 9 & 10: Wellington – (101 km – 1:40 hrs) Te Papa Guided Tour: It’s a short trip over the Remutuka Hill to Wellington. At Wellington a ride on the cable car and a visit to Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum is a must do. Entry to Te Papa is free but our activities package includes a guided 60-minute tour which will take you on a journey through New Zealand’s rich history and cultures with stories about our adaptive wildlife, resilience of the Māori people and life in the South Pacific. Two nights : Bella Vista Motel – Standard Studio Room.
Day 11: Whanganui – ( 194 km – 2:30 hrs) Paddle Steamer River Cruise: On your way through to Whanganui we recommend a stop at the small town of Foxton for great coffee and the Dutch Windmill showcasing the diverse makeup of the New Zealand population. At Whanganui a 2-hour trip on the paddle steamer is must. In early European times river travel was the only way to get around and paddle steamers served the community well for many years. One night: Aotea Lodge – Deluxe Studio.
Day 12: Otorohanga – (282 km – 3:30 hrs) Glow Worm Caves Tour: We continue our tour t with trip to Waitamo for an underground adventure through a glow worm cave before moving to our overnight stop at Otorohanga. Giving you the opportunity to experience another slice of small-town New Zealand with a surprising range of cafes and restaurants. One night: Palm Court Motel – Superior Studio.
Day 13 Matamata – (90 km – 1:10 hrs) Lord of The Rings ™ Movie Set Tour: For many this will be the highlight of their self-drive tour with a visit to Hobbiton Village. Those on our activities package will join a fully guided, Lord of The Rings Movie Set walking tour, around the 12-acre set; past Hobbit Holes ™ , the Mill and into the world-famous Green Dragon Inn, where you be presented with a complimentary beverage to conclude your Middle-earth ™ adventure. One night: Tower Road Motel – Standard Studio Room.
Day 14: Auckland – (148 km – 1:45 hrs) Rental Vehicle Return: Today you return your rental vehicle early – afternoon and return home with lots of memories of the “New Zealand North Island ”